The New York Times took an in-depth look into the most corrupt Attorney General in the history of the United States, William “Coverup” Barr. Inside Barr’s Effort to Undermine Prosecutors in N.Y. Briefly:
Mr. Barr’s role in the Michael Cohen case also presaged his involvement in two other high-profile prosecutions of Trump associates: Michael T. Flynn, the president’s former national security adviser, and Roger J. Stone Jr., a political operative close to Mr. Trump who was convicted of lying to Congress and other crimes.
Last month, Mr. Barr ordered that prosecutors in Washington drop the case against Mr. Flynn, who had twice pleaded guilty to lying to the F.B.I. about phone calls with the Russian ambassador. Mr. Barr also overruled a sentencing recommendation from career prosecutors in Washington for Mr. Stone, which he viewed as excessive, prompting the office to backtrack.
The Department of Justice confirmed the existence of a legal memorandum penned by the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) outlining the department’s rationale for declining to charge President Donald Trump with obstruction of justice based on the Mueller Report. However, the DOJ is refusing to provide the legal justification OLC relied upon in reaching the conclusion that there was insufficient evidence to charge Trump, only releasing a heavily redacted version of the memo after protracted litigation.
But I digress.
With regard to the Roger Stone matter, William “Coverup” Barr suffered a setback on Friday. The subversion of justice by presidential pardon is now on the clock. Expect to see it before July 14. You saw it here first.
The Washington Post reports, Roger Stone ordered to report to prison July 14, as judge denies request for two-month delay:
A federal judge has ordered Roger Stone to report to prison July 14, granting him a two-week delay because of the coronavirus pandemic, but not the two months that President Trump’s confidant had requested with prosecutors’ assent.
Stone, 67, had been due to surrender June 30 to a federal prison in Jesup, Ga., while he appeals his November conviction on charges of lying and witness tampering in a congressional investigation.
In an order and sealed opinion late Friday, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson granted a two-week delay. Prosecutors had not opposed Stone’s request for a delay until Sept. 3, saying the Justice Department’s policy during the pandemic has been to grant up to a 60-day extension upon defendants’ request “without respect to age, health, or other COVID-19 risk factors.”
In a short public notice, Jackson said she agreed to a two-week extension, with the reasoning explained in a sealed opinion; she asked whether both sides would agree to unseal that opinion next week.
“This affords the defendant seventy-five days beyond his original report date,” Jackson said in the notice, pointing out that she had originally ordered Stone to surrender to prison within two weeks after she denied his motion for a new trial in mid-April.
Jackson also ordered Stone to remain under home confinement until July 14, in accordance with Justice Department policy and “the strong medical recommendation submitted” by Stone’s defense. Jackson’s notice indicated that the delay would allow Stone time to quarantine himself to ensure he did not take the novel coronavirus from his home in South Florida to the prison.
Stone, a longtime GOP operative and friend of Trump’s, was expected to seek a stay of his 40-month prison sentence since he appealed his case in April to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
The judge’s order came days after a federal prosecutor testified in a congressional hearing that top Justice Department officials had pressured government lawyers to give the longtime Trump adviser “a break” in his sentencing.
The New York Times adds:
This week, in a statement to the House Judiciary Committee during an oversight hearing, one of those prosecutors said his superiors cited “heavy pressure from the highest levels of the Department of Justice to cut Stone a break.”
“What I heard — repeatedly — was that Roger Stone was being treated differently from any other defendant because of his relationship to the president,” said the prosecutor, Aaron S.J. Zelinsky. Mr. Zelinsky has now left his assignment in the United States attorney’s office in Washington but remains a department prosecutor in Baltimore.
Before Stone’s sentencing, Attorney General William P. Barr and senior Justice Department officials intervened to recommend a lower sentence for the longtime Trump ally, prompting all four front-line prosecutors to withdraw from the case and 2,600 former prosecutors to call for Barr to resign.
Briefing for Stone’s appeal is expected to continue into October, making any decision unlikely before the presidential election. Trump has also strongly suggested that he will pardon Stone.
And there it is! Tick-tock.